Argentine football legend Diego Maradona has died at the age of 60, his spokesman announced on Wednesday.
Renowned along with Brazil’s Pele as one of the greatest footballers of all time, the Argentine World Cup winning captain died of a heart attack, having undergone brain surgery earlier this month, a member of his entourage told AFP.
President Alberto Fernandez immediately announced three days of national mourning in the South American country.
“Rest in Peace, legend of football,” tweeted Brazil idol Neymar. His message was accompanied by a black and white photo of Maradona from his playing days with Neymar as a boy.
Shortly before the announcement that shocked the world, Argentine media reported Maradona had suffered a serious health setback on Wednesday and was being treated at his home north of Buenos Aires.
“There are four ambulances at the door of the residence. They have summoned family members to come. It is serious,” the TyC Sports channel reported.
The life of the divine footballing talent that was Diego Armando Maradona has been marked by wild highs and lows.
Excesses with cocaine and alcohol had long taken their toll on the mercurial talent’s health.
The former player underwent surgery earlier this month to remove a clot lodged between his brain and skull.
Maradona has been admitted to hospital three times in the last 20 years for serious health issues — two of which were potentially fatal — due to his drug and alcohol addictions.
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